[Editor’s note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.]
Michelin North America showcased its new Michelin Premier All-Season with EverGrip tire to media at the North American International Auto Show.
Michelin emphasized the tire’s ability to deliver safety and said unlike traditional tires, the Michelin Premier A/S maintains its wet traction even when worn. The tire provides consumers with shorter stopping distance, hydroplaning resistance and increased grip when new and worn, the company said.
“The Michelin Premier A/S tire represents a significant breakthrough in automotive safety,” said Scott Clark, COO of Michelin North America’s passenger and light truck tire division. “With our truly revolutionary advancements in tire technology, we are able to directly address the effects of tire wear on traction and have been able to break the traditional paradigm.”
Three main elements help the tire maintain its wet traction over time and wear, the tiremaker said. The Premier A/S features a proprietary high-traction compound, expanding rain grooves and emerging grooves.
The compound, featuring silica and sunflower oil, provides high traction in wet conditions, and at lower temperatures, the company said. The expanding rain grooves get wider as the tread wears, helping the tire clear water even as these rain grooves lose depth.
Finally, the emerging grooves are more than 150 hidden grooves that emerge as the tire wears. These grooves provide additional help in channeling water away and maintaining wet traction, Michelin said.
The tiremaker claims that because of these features, the Michelin Premier A/S is better worn than a new competitor’s tire.
“Our worn tire stops shorter on wet roads than our leading competitor’s brand new tires,” Clark said.
He went on to later say, “We used to say our new tire is better than their new tire. Now we say our worn tire is better than their brand new tire.”
According to the tiremaker’s release, Michelin tested its worn Premier A/S against the Goodyear Assurance Tripletred A/S and a Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus.
The Michelin Premier A/S will be available this April in 32 sizes, ranging from 185/65R15 to 245/45R18, and will come with a 60,000-mile warranty. Eventually the tire will have 45 skus with the potential for more.
In fall, the tiremaker will be launching a LT/SUV version of the tire with EverGrip, Clark said.
Part of Michelin’s strategy to sell the tires to consumers is to make sure dealers fully understand the product. The tiremaker has already showcased the Premier A/S to some dealers, but will share it with a larger audience at an upcoming customer conference in February. Pre-orders for the tire will start shortly after.
Also to help with sales, dealers will be given a tread that will feature the new tire and worn tire side by side.
“Many times when tires are launched, it’s all about the science inside and the stuff nobody can see,” Clark said. “This is one of those few breakthrough innovations that has a visual aspect to is and that’s really compelling to both dealers and consumers.”
A big part of Michelin’s marketing strategy will be online.
“We know [consumers] are going online and spending four to six hours researching their tires, so we want to be where they are when they’re thinking about their tires,” said Tiffane Thompson, country operations marketing manager for Michelin North America.
A short video explaining the tire for the public can be found here.
Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page.